What is an Animal Assisted Therapist?
An animal assisted therapist typically works with a therapy dog in many types of settings, such as private homes, nursing homes, hospitals, and correctional facilities. Horses, cats, pigs, dolphins, and birds can also be used in a treatment plan.
Animals help clients with a multitude of things they need help with, such as improving self-esteem, help for anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder, and developing social skills.
A study has shown a significant drop in stress hormones and adrenaline and an increase in health and social inducing hormones such as oxytocin, dopamine and endorphins after 20 minutes with a therapy dog.
An animal assisted therapist can help children with behavioural issues and the elderly with dementia and depression. With the presence of the therapy animal, a purely nonjudgemental space for individuals to work out their problems is provided.